Figures compiled by the Information Department of the High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan have revealed that the highest ever numbers of cylinder thefts were recorded in 2006, with over 327 cases on record.

The majority of these instances involved LPG cylinders, but industrial gas cylinders such as those for use with oxygen and the potentially explosive acetylene accounted for just over 10%.

The number of thefts recorded since 1999 has been on the increase, with a rapid rise in figures in recent years. The number of thefts of high pressure gas cylinders, including LPG cylinders, amounted to just 21 in the year 2000 and has continued to increase year by year. In 2003 the number exceeded the 3 digit mark and latest reports suggest this has finally reached 327 for 2006.

With the exception of the Okinawa Prefecture, each region suffered a loss of at least one cylinder theft, as revealed by the department’s report.